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Classic Rock Coffee franchisees Ashley and Brent McGuire plan to open a downtown spot in Brewery District Flats.
SBJ file photo
Classic Rock Coffee franchisees Ashley and Brent McGuire plan to open a downtown spot in Brewery District Flats.

Classic Rock Coffee franchise slated for downtown

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A Classic Rock Coffee franchisee is shooting for a mid-January launch for a new location in downtown Springfield.

Ashley McGuire, who signed on as a franchisee with her husband Brent, said the couple frequent Classic Rock’s flagship store at 1900 W. Sunset St.

“I like the atmosphere of Classic Rock. I like that it’s not pretentious coffee,” McGuire said. “It’s something that I think downtown needs — something a little more laid back.”

The McGuires signed a five-year lease to occupy 1,300 square feet in Brewery District Flats, 535 W. Walnut St. Ashley McGuire declined to disclose the lease rate and the couple’s investment in the venture. Classic Rock Coffee’s website does not list franchising costs.

McGuire is the daughter of Incredible Pizza Co. founder and CEO Rick Barsness, and she co-owns the Springfield entertainment center on South Campbell Avenue. Incredible Pizza, which is in the franchising business, recently announced the company’s market entry into the Kansas City area and a relocation in San Antonio, Texas.

“Franchising is something that I know,” McGuire said, noting she’ll be the full-time operator of the Classic Rock franchise while continuing some work for Incredible Pizza.

Classic Rock is a growing franchise system with 13 locations listed on its website. In addition to a store in Republic and locations in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, Classic Rock also has ventured as far as Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.

McGuire said she approached Classic Rock founder Kent Morrison, Brett Payne, director of franchising for the company, and James Clary, its food and beverage director, with the investment opportunity.

In downtown Springfield, McGuire’s Classic Rock store is located in a growing area, she said, with a slew of apartments alongside Springfield Brewing Co., Casper’s, Mother’s Brewing Co. and other established ventures.

“I feel that everything in downtown is going to move west,” she said, also pointing to the recently announced $21 million federal grant to connect downtown along Grant Avenue with Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

In Brewery District Flats, McGuire is setting up shop next door to the former Frank ‘n’ Steins LLC space. Frank ‘n’ Steins recently announced plans to relocate to Nixa.

McGuire said she plans to hire up to five part-time employees to start out. Her husband Brent will continue to work full time at Hammer's Autoworks, she said.

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